Record-breaking class of 2013 Graduates from WGU Washington Today at Benaroya

Seattle, Wash. May 18, 2013: WGU Washington’s second annual commencement ceremony is today, Saturday, May 18th, at Benaroya Hall.  More than 500 WGU Washington students will receive degrees this year from the state’s only accredited, online university, almost double last year’s class of 270. Graduates from around the state will gather to celebrate as Rep. Cyrus Habib ,delivers the keynote speech. Habib, who represents Washington’s 48th district, lost his eyesight at the age of eight and is Washington State’s first blind lawmaker in more than 50 years and the first Iranian-American elected to state office in the United States. Habib, an accomplished pianist, will also perform Gershwin’s Summertime on the venue’s grand piano.
“Cyrus represents everything that WGU Washington stands for,” said WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten. “Undaunted in achieving his dreams, Cyrus’ joyous, uplifting and inspiring message will resonate with every student celebrating his or her fantastic achievement today.”
The commencement ceremony begins at 3 p.m with the following program:
  • Welcome and Opening Remarks: Chancellor Jean Floten
  • Commencement Address: Rep. Cyrus Habib, 48th Legislative District
  • Graduate Speakers:
    1. Connie Summers, Bothell
    2. Cathy Johnson, Newport (Spokane area)
    3. Julius Giron,ÂAuburn
  • Conferral of Degrees
  • Rep. Cyrus Habib to perform Gershwin’s Summertime on grand piano
  • Closing Remarks: WGU President, Dr. Robert Mendenhall
For more information contact Jake Riddell at 206-512-0025,[email protected]or Lee Keller at 206-799-3805,[email protected]. Also, footage and sound from the ceremony and graduates will be available on Dropbox.
WGU Washington was established by the Washington State Legislature on April 22, 2011. WGU Washington is state-endorsed and offers degree programs that are accredited through Western Governors University.
WGU Washington offers 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Business, Information Technology, Teacher Education, and Health Professions, including Nursing. The university’s online, competency-based learning model is designed to meet the needs of working adults by providing an affordable, flexible option for earning an accredited, respected college degree. It’s non-profit and receives no money from the state.
Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and nationally accredited through the Distance Education and Training Commission (DETC). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank.